Let’s Do the “Time Warp” Again: Halloween Favorite at Barnstormers Theater

by Robert Beizer

Franco Vuono and Ashley O'Connor as Brad and Janet in the cult classic, THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, offered by Barnstormers Theater in Ridley Park, PA.

The Halloween season’s perennial favorite THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW is being performed at a number of area community and professional theaters this year.

The Barnstormers in Ridley Park offer this for the third year in a row with some changes to the cast. As the show approaches its 40th anniversary (Opening on-stage in London in 1973; the film version from 1975), it retains its ability to excite both performers and audience alike. Starting with a pre-show warmup during which Virgins (first timers to a Rocky show) come up on stage to break the ice. I won’t reveal the details here.

Few shows of its period, or since, provide so much audience participation. The Barnstormers go as far as giving each theatergoer a “prop bag” which contains all the effects used by the audience during the show. All you need bring is an appropriate costume if you so choose.

It is not usual for audience members to shout near obscenities to the actors while they are performing the show. Even band members get into the ad-lib act with the actors and audience.

The Narrator (Brian Harrington) does his best to control and to feed off of the audience members taunts and heckling. He had a lot to contend with at last night’s performance.

The ensemble cast sings without microphones, which I prefer, but it left some lines and songs overwhelmed by both the audience talk-back and some unbalanced group singing. Some lines were garbled and indistinct.

The weekends split cast the role of “Brad Majors”, Franco Vuono did an admirable job this weekend as did his “Janet Weiss”; Ashley O’Connor. “Frank-N-Furter” was played by Andrew John Mitchell who gets little respect from his staff and even has a mild run in with the Musical Director as well as the audience. Others notable in the cast were Danielle Finlay as “Riff Raff”, Stephanie Krause as “Columbia” and Marissa Capuano who had a nice featured part as “Trannie Marissa”,

Some of the choreography was uneven and repetitive but the energy of the ensemble put over most of the numbers as far as the audience was concerned.

If you know the show and want to have a “Wild and Untamed Thing” experience, then a Halloween visit to the Barnstormers should be in your plans for next weekend.

By Richard O’Brien
Directed by Marsha L. Amato-Greenspan
The Barnstormers Theater
402 Tome St
Ridley Park, PA 19078

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